1. Inventory. A thorough audit of your current file transfer landscape is the first step to successfully architecting a consolidated solution. What connections exist and what file transfer technologies do they use? Why are they there? What else are they connected to, and what are the interdependencies?
2. Define. Make sure you fully understand the business impact of making changes to established file transfer connections and flows. Can it be measured in dollars (like a transaction) or some other KPI? Can you consolidate flows to improve decision support?
3. Engage. Involving your customers and partners in the process and addressing their concerns up front is critical. Some might jump at the chance to leverage a file transfer methodology that offers more security and visibility, while others may be skeptical or technically unable to support a new connection on their end.
4. Architect. Whether your requirements are simple or complex, you will maximize value and minimize risk if you architect a consolidated file transfer solution that is:
- Policy-driven — Robust policy management will allow you to use technology to protect your business.
- Modular — You shouldn’t have to buy functionality you don’t need now, but you should be able to acquire and integrate it easily when and if you do.
- Transparent — Ensure a level of visibility that enables you to track, report, and present data movement events generated from all applications and platforms, not just one vendor’s offerings.
- End-to-end — Be sure you can control the flow of a file or message from the point of production to the point of consumption, whether it stays inside your firewall or travels along your entire supply or value chain.
- Open and standards-based — Create a forward-compatible solution that can support all types of current and future transaction types and data exchanges between systems, businesses, and people.
- Reliable — Demand performance and availability features that support doing business the way you, your customers, and your partners do — 24 x 7 x 365.
- Flexible — Choose a solution that is available in the delivery vehicle that best suits your needs, whether it’s on-premise software or appliance, managed for you in the cloud, or virtualized.
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